NBN Shuts Down Multicast Plan Due to Lack of Interest

February 8, 2018

I know we have said it a thousand times, but the National Broadband Network (NBN) is back at it again with the sudden changes in decisions. And the reason this time is they lacked interest. What a reason to scrap a project.

The decision was revealed only through the latest release of the networking giant’s integrated product map, which was only a day before Christmas. Called the ‘Multicast 2.0’, this plan was supposed to allow multicast capabilities to FTTN/B and HFC users at the end of this year.

“The implementation of the multicast product on NBN Co’s other fixed line access technologies – FTTN, FTTB and HFC – has been halted,” an NBN Co spokesperson told iTnews.

“We did not see sufficient demand from our customers to justify commercialisation.”

But what is the multicast feature, exactly? According to the NBN it is “designed to enable content to be injected once per point of interconnect and is designed to provide a cost-effective content delivery solution by reducing customer’s backhaul costs compared with the Unicast method of content delivery.

“It has been designed to make “one to many” video transmission in Australia more efficient and more economical as well as providing many innovative and interactive opportunities,” NBN explained.

However, way back in 2012, the multicast feature was already released. According to the NBN, internet service providers (ISPs) are now able to sign up with the new feature. This effort was to become an efficient way to deliver IPTV over the network.

It was designed “so that service providers can inject broadcast IPTV channels into one or more of NBN Co’s 121 points of interconnect (PoI), each of which serves around 150,000 premises”.

“From each PoI, these video streams can then be replicated to potentially thousands of viewers, saving on backhaul costs and creating significant network efficiencies compared with a standard data service,” NBN Co said at the time.

NBN also said in 2012: “multicast was designed to “create efficiencies anytime a service provider wishes to distribute a single piece of data to many end-users – for example, online education materials.”

With the current decision, another promising project has been demolished. A way to save up and offer cost-effective solutions are now long gone. When will Australians get what they deserve? They want fast internet and wonderful service, and they want it right now.